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Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Heiner Linke

Professor, Deputy dean (prorektor) at Faculty of Engineering, LTH

Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Experiments on the thermoelectric properties of quantum dots


  • Artis Svilans
  • Martin Leijnse
  • Heiner Linke

Summary, in English

Quantum dots (QDs) are good model systems for fundamental studies of mesoscopic transport phenomena using thermoelectric effects because of their small size, electrostatically tunable properties and thermoelectric response characteristics that are very sensitive to small thermal biases. Here we provide a review of experimental studies on thermoelectric properties of single QDs realized in two-dimensional electron gases, single-walled carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanowires. A key requirement for such experiments is to have some methods for nanoscale thermal biasing at one's disposal. We briefly review the main techniques used in the field, namely, heating of the QD contacts, side heating and top heating, and touch upon their relative advantages. The thermoelectric response of a QD as a function of gate potential has a characteristic oscillatory behavior with the same period as is observed for conductance peaks. Much of the existing literature focuses on the agreement between experiments and theory, particularly for amplitude and line-shape of the thermovoltage Vth. A general observation is that the widely used single-electron tunneling approximation for QDs has limited success in reproducing measured Vth. Landauer-type calculations are often found to describe measurement results better, despite the large electron–electron interactions in QDs. More recently, nonlinear thermoelectric effects have moved into the focus of attention, and we offer a brief overview of the experiments done so far. We conclude by discussing open questions and avenues for future work, including the role of asymmetries in tunnel- and capacitive couplings in the thermoelectric behavior of QDs.


  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience
  • Solid State Physics

Publishing year







Comptes Rendus. Physique





Document type

Journal article


Elsevier Masson SAS


  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Nanoscale
  • Quantum dot
  • Thermal bias
  • Thermoelectric
  • Thermopower




  • ISSN: 1631-0705